Dutch soccer legend Frans de Munck dies

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Former Dutch football international Frans de Munck has died in Arnhem aged 88. He was goalkeeper with DOS Utrecht when the team won the Dutch championship in 1958 and played for the national Dutch squad 31 times.

He was goalie at clubs including VV Goes, FC Köln, BV Veendam and SC Cambuur. His international debut was on 23 April 1949 in a friendly against France. The Dutch side won 4-1.

In 1953 he played for the national squad in a match against France which the Dutch won 2-1. The proceeds of the game went to the victims of the disastrous floods which had hit the southern Netherlands earlier that year and in which more than 1,800 people were killed.

At the time, football was an amateur game in the Netherlands and the 1953 charity international is seen as one of the catalysts which led to professional Dutch football. Just one year later, the first professional soccer match was played in the Netherlands.

De Munck was nicknamed the Black Panther because of his striking black hair, trademark black shirt and his panther-like reflexes.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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